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Rhododendron carolinianum (Carolina azalea)
Cressler, Alan

Rhododendron carolinianum

Rhododendron carolinianum Rehder

Carolina Azalea, Carolina Rhododendron, Carolina Laurel

Ericaceae (Heath Family)


USDA Symbol: RHCA14

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Small, mound-shaped, broadleaf evergreen shrub, 3-6 ft. tall, with picturesque, ascending branches and smooth, thick, dark-green foliage, turning purplish in winter. Broad, funnel-shaped flowers occur in large, terminal clusters. Flowers range from white to pale bluish-pink and appear after the leaves.


From the Image Gallery

3 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Breeding System: Flowers Bisexual
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 6 feet tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Pink
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May


USA: CT , NC , SC , TN
Native Distribution: S. Appalachians, n. to TN & NC
Native Habitat: Rocky woods; cool meadows; mt. stream banks

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Shade
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
Soil Description: Well-drained, gravelly loams.

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Bumble Bees

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.


Description: Sow tiny seeds on peat under mist or a plastic tent. Wounded, semi-hardwood cutting taken in late summer and given hormone will root in 6-8 weeks.
Seed Treatment: No pretreatment is necessary.
Commercially Avail: yes

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Rhododendron carolinianum in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Rhododendron carolinianum in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Rhododendron carolinianum


Record Modified: 2023-04-03
Research By: TWC Staff

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